The sound of one hand, clapping?
We started UK Health Radio (https://www.ukhealthradio.com) 10 years ago, in June 2012. I say ‘we’ because I could not have done it without the continuous commitment of my beloved wife, life and business partner, Raphaela. Back then, we had one Presenter and a very small and unknown number of listeners. Today, we have over 40 regular presenters broadcasting in English 24/7 365 and around 1.3 million regular listeners in over 54 countries throughout the world – although the vast majority are in the UK and USA. UK Health Radio (UKHR) is the only talk radio station on earth focusing exclusively on Health and Wellbeing. Wherever you are, provided you have an Internet connection, you can listen to UKHR any time, day or night!
9 years ago, in 2013, Raphaela and I launched an online magazine called Health Triangle Magazine to reflect the range and the values of the radio station in another medium. Health Triangle Magazine comes out on a monthly basis. This is Raphaela’s baby! Available on a paid-for subscription basis, HTM has around 20,000 regular readers and is now into its second century, as an English cricket commentator might put it in terms of runs!
Raphaela and I met in Art School in 1986. Raphaela was studying Design and I was on the Photography course. Photography and Raphaela were the two great loves of my life in those days and I developed a lucrative career as a Fashion Photographer. My camera and I travelled all over South Africa, Europe and elsewhere in the world capturing fashion shots very successfully for national and international Clients. Raphaela and I got married in 1992. We had our first son, Jasco, in 1999. Everything looked absolutely peachy. The future looked comfortable and rosy. We had all our ducks lined up and in good order. Then one day, out of the blue, I was playing tennis with a friend, when I collapsed to the ground with a heart attack.
As luck would have it, that particular friend was a doctor, so the incident was dealt with promptly and professionally. Within weeks, I was back behind my camera, doing my thing, living the dream!
But Fate had another big surprise in store for me. Only (4) months later, I was diagnosed with Cancer. I can tell you from personal experience that hearing the C word applied to me was just about the worst news I could ever imagine. But the doctors were optimistic. They believed that they had found the cancer early enough to treat it. They suggested that I hoped for the best rather than sink down and expect the worst. Together, they reckoned, I could survive and even thrive. Meanwhile I needed to submit to some radiotherapy and hope for remission.
This I did. But at the end of it all, it didn’t work out according to their optimistic plan.
Just 8 months after the original diagnosis, I am seeing the same oncologist, in the same room. It is February 2012. The European weather is predictably cold, wet and miserable. Here are the exact words I heard that day:
“Your cancer has returned… spread… You have an estimated life expectancy… maximum of 12 months. I am so sorry.”
When I first heard I had cancer, my heart stopped. When I first heard the radiotherapy had ‘worked’, my heart sang! On being told now that ‘my’ cancer had returned and so I had at most a year to live, my heart might have sunk – it must have, I don’t remember. What I do remember is a powerful voice in my head saying very clearly and very loudly:
“I am not going to die!”
Without knowing it, there and then, I had become part of the process of living.
It was not ‘my’ cancer. I didn’t own it. I didn’t want it. My plan, rather like Edison, was to discard the method that hadn’t worked and search tirelessly for another one. Seven months later I was still looking. Meanwhile the cancer was taking its toll. It was taking me 20 minutes to climb two flights of stairs – and when I reached the top step, I found myself totally exhausted and feeling absolutely nauseous. My head might have been bloody but it remained unbowed. At 2 am one morning, I woke Raphaela with the words: “I know how to kill this cancer!” She continued to believe in me… I continued scouring the Internet for new information. For days, nights, weeks, months, I found nothing different, nothing new. Then one sleepless night, I stumbled across a sentence that changed my life completely! Here is what it said:
“Cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated, alkaline cellular environment.”
There and then, I knew I had at last found a way not to die. The emotional impact of this spiritual experience reminded me of being present at the birth of my two sons, Jasco and Curtis. It was unlike anything else I had ever experienced. It was totally life-affirming!
Who was the author? What were his credentials? Could I be sure it was not just my own wishful thinking?
Dr Warburg was the author. He was a German biochemist, who had won a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1931. His credentials, it seemed to me, were impeccable – world-class! I wanted to find out more – urgently. This was not an academic exercise – my life depended on it. The success of Dr Warburg’s treatment of cancer depended directly on alkalising the ph levels in the patient’s body through meticulous attention to diet on a daily basis. I became scrupulously careful about absolutely everything I ate in order to reduce the glucose production within my cells. This in turn, according to Dr Warburg, reduces the acid production that cancer cells feed on. His idea is simply that by changing your diet you can starve the cancer from within.
I was empowered. I bathed in the overwhelming belief that now I had a new way to go, everything would be alright in the end! But it was not to be a quick fix. I was not cured overnight. For me this was not to be a Biblical miracle – “Touch my robe!” – but rather a practical training programme. Our kitchen became a new hive of positive activity, filled with colours, smells, textures, herbs in bottles and more herbs growing in pots on the windowsill. The space once occupied by the microwave was now filled with recipe-books, mainly plant-based. As for me, I could feel life growing back within me.
My younger son Curtis summed it up succinctly:
“It took my Daddy two and a half years to kill the cancer dead!”
Fashion Photography felt like another life, on another continent. My life had changed fundamentally. My priorities were more concerned with life and death than seasons or style. Once again, I risked waking Raphaela at 2 am one morning in order to announce:
“I am going to start a radio station – a Health Radio station!”
Bless her, she did not say: “Are you crazy? Can we talk about it tomorrow. I need my sleep!”
She simply said:
“I am sure you will!”
And so we did. Just six weeks later!
Our concept, created with the help of our first Station Manager, John Hicks, was simply: “Real feel-good Radio.” Our position was ambitious: the first and only talk radio station in the world, dedicated exclusively to Health and Wellbeing.
We wanted UKHR to be the world’s single best central source, freely available to anyone with a wifi connection on their phone, tablet, Alexa or computer, to access excellent up-to-date information on the widest possible range of Health issues.
UKHR is designed to be the widest possible Health information station. HTM is an online magazine, which shares its values and extends its reach.
The UK is famous for its National Health Service, introduced in 1948 and free at the point of delivery. Socialised medicine may be a controversial topic in the USA but it is much-loved here in Britain. However, one of its downsides is that people here tend to abdicate responsibility for their own health and turn to the NHS immediately when they run into trouble.
UKHR (https://www.ukhealthradio.com) neither encourages nor endorses this point of view. On the contrary, while we are generally totally open-minded of the merits of different health regimes, we are vocal in our belief that prevention is more important than cure. We believe everyone should accept their share of responsibility for their own health – and their children’s health.
A stitch in time does save nine. Sensible lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise can be measured in terms of better quality/longer lives. Links between obesity and heart disease or diabetes are now well established. The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are no longer seen as fringe issues – they are now recognised as mainstream factors in physical, mental and spiritual health.
The pandemic of Covid 19 and its variants have made the whole world much more health-conscious than it was say 5 years ago.
The rise of the LGBTQ+ has broadened the range of issues confronting anyone across a spectrum of business, hospitality and sport.
Social media has made distance psychological! Conventional journalism will never be the same again.
In the UK, the old order changeth. Likewise, in the USA, pro-choice and pro-life advocates confront each other as they did half a century ago.
This is the new normal!
At UK Health Radio and Health Triangle Magazine, we see ourselves as platforms for all sincerely held points of view. We are not anti-pharmaceutical or anti-homeopathy or vice versa. We are pro-freedom-of-speech and diversity.
All our previously broadcast programmes on UKHR are stored and available on demand. Likewise back issues and published articles in HTM can be revisited. We are on record and proud of it!
We work on Reithian principles “to inform, educate and entertain.”
Our website is updated regularly. Our Awards Schemes recognise excellence. With ‘Ads for Ears’ we provide a Master Class from Tony Hertz to preach what we practice.
Our advice to others in business?
Make no small plans! Believe in the Big Idea!
“Little tiny dreams, require little tiny thoughts and little tiny steps.
Great big dreams require great big thoughts and little tiny steps.” (The Universe)
If an expert suggests your commercial survival time is only 12 months, be inspired by Thomas Edison’s example rather than Little Jack Horner’s.
Once it took me 20 minutes to climb two flights of stairs. Now I run up to 10km every day. And I run the world’s number one Health radio station. I have replaced radiotherapy with Radio Therapy. I am so happy I lived to tell the tale!